Miller Student Lamp
Reference Desk Lamp Information Other Resources On-Line Shopping

The Lampworks LOGO
Purveyors of Antique Lighting and Accessories
435 Main Street  ~  Hurleyville, New York 12747

    >  Home
    >  About Us
    >  Contact Us
    >  Site Map

Bristol Brass & Clock's
The BABY Lantern

Lamp Burners
produced by the
Bristol Brass & Clock Company
    a brief historical profile of     
The Bristol Brass & Clock Company

Crystal Light
The Crystal Light Burner by BB&C.
Alvin Taplin's #119,061, September 19, 1871 for the wick raiser mechanism.
The Bristol Brass & Clock Company was organized on April 3, 1850, at Foster's Tavern, in Bristol, Connecticut. The group of organizers numbered sixteen and was comprised of Connecticut industrialists. The principle masterminds of the company were Israel Holmes of Waterbury and Elisha Welch of Bristol.

Israel Holmes served as the first president of Bristol Brass. He was no stranger to the brass business, having started many related companies prior to forming Bristol Brass; and he would be involved in numerous ventures thereafter. Holmes started in the brass business at Scovills in the 1820's. He gained a strong reputation after bringing both brass rolling equipment and skilled brass workers from England during a time when exports of materials and workmen was prohibited.

Luce's Safety
Bartlett Luce's Safety Burner
#481,729, August 30, 1892
Holmes was not content working for others, so in 1831 he formed Holmes and Hotchkiss, again traveling to England for men and machinery. Holmes and Hotchkiss was one of the first firms to draw brass wire and form brass tubing in the United States, largely due to the skills of the men he obtained from England. In 1833 he broke away to form the Wolcottville Brass Company in what is now Torrington, Conn. He also had his hand in The Waterbury Brass Company (1845); Holmes, Tuttle and Company (which became part of Bristol Brass) and ultimately set up as a separate corporation - The American Silver Company; Holmes, Booth & Haydens; Holmes, Booth & Atwood, which later became Plume & Atwood after a legal battle with Hiram W. Hayden.

Bristol Brass Catalog
A Rare Bristol Brass & Clock Catalog,
w/ George W. Brown, Agent
In 1868, The Bristol Brass & Clock Company diversified into the burner and lamp business. On April 28, 1868, they purchased the burner shop of George W. Brown & Company. Brown was an inventor and manufacturer of mechanical toys. Three years after Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil, Brown started making lamp burners. The burner business was so successful, that he quit making toys, and attracted the attention of Bristol Brass management. At the same time, Bartlett P. Luce, a holder of a number of burner patents, came on board as a salesman. He traveled the southern states, proclaiming the attributes of the Safety Burner which he had invented. Luce and his burner was very successful, selling significant numbers to the railways, miners, and lumber camps. This paved the way for a successful lamp business. On July 3, 1902, the company changed it's name to Bristol Brass Co. Its successor, Bristol Brass Corporation, closed down in the 1980's.

Taplin-Brown Collar
The "Taplin-Brown" Collar
A. Taplin's #161,912, Apr. 13, 1875
G.W. Brown's #175,022, Mar. 21, 1876

Bristol Brass & Clock was assigned at least twenty-three lighting-related patents between August 31, 1869 and June 6, 1911. See the patent table below for details. The major contributor was Alvin Taplin, assignor of ten patents. He holds at least six other lighting-related patents. Bartlett Luce was listed as assignor of two, although he is credited with at least five others. George W. Brown, from whom Bristol purchased the burner shop, was assignor of three patents to Bristol, and having another two assigned to himself.

Bristol Fashion
This book, Bristol Fashion, is a history of The Bristol Brass & Clock Company from 1850 to 1950 published by The Bristol Brass Corporation in 1950. A great reference on the company giving an insight into the early formative years of the brass industry as a whole.

Check The Book Nook for available copies of this book!

MagnifySearch Bristol Brass & Clock's Patents

Patents assigned to Bristol Brass & Clock between August 31, 1869 - June 6, 1911
RE6650 94451 102449 102728 111274 119061 175022 212437
326140 335654 363698 404121 415400 444598 450106 457083
466029 483279 578859 580569 581957 613276 994436
[ more? ]
D = Design Patent, RE = Reissue of an earlier Patent

To view any of the above patents, enter the number in the box below and select Query USPTO Database. This will take you to the specific patent images on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Database. Learn more about the USPTO here.

Enter Patent Number ?/B> 


  • The Bristol Brass Corporation. Bristol Fashion. The Barta Press: 1950.
  • Grant, Ellsworth Strong. Yankee Dreamers and Doers. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, n.d.

^ Top of Page


Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions of Use | Announcements

Copyright © 2001-2011 ~ Daniel Edminster | The Lampworks ~ All Rights Reserved